Health & Balance

What Is Appendicitis? Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Appendicitis

Do you know that you have a mysterious organ in your body called the appendix? Our appendix extends our large intestine that protrudes outward and has a finger-like shape. This organ has baffled doctors for years because of how useless it appears to be.

Even though it appears to be a useless organ, it still does cause a lot of pain when inflamed. This inflammation of the appendix is called appendicitis. Therefore, we will discuss this disease in this article, explaining its causes, symptoms, and treatment procedures.

What Is Appendicitis?

What Is Appendicitis?

Appendicitis is a condition where your appendix gets inflamed. This can happen due to various reasons. Appendicitis leads to much abdominal pain, digestion problems, and nausea. The most prominent cure for appendicitis is to perform a surgery that deletes the appendix.

Appendicitis is a widespread disease that happens mostly amongst children and young adults. However, it is common in the age group of 10 to 30. A survey estimates that almost 10% of Americans have suffered from this condition.

Any blockage in the appendix will cause appendicitis. In addition, this blockage of the digestive tract leads to bacteria multiplying inside the appendix. This causes a lot of severe pain in your lower abdomen, on the right side of your belly.

Types Of Appendicitis

Types Of Appendicitis

There are currently two different types of appendicitis. They are:

1. Acute Appendicitis

This is the most common form of appendicitis. In this situation, the pain appears suddenly and intensifies quickly in the span of one or two days. The only way to stop the pain is to go through surgery that completely removes the appendix from the body.

2. Chronic Appendicitis

This form of appendicitis is rare and only accounts for 2% of all cases of appendicitis. Here, complications and symptoms may arise from time to time. However, the symptoms are generally mild, often not even felt by the patient. These symptoms may also disappear and reappear from time to time until it finally develops into acute appendicitis.

While it may seem less harmful than acute appendicitis, in reality, it is the exact opposite. Contrary to the appearance of symptoms and their severity, chronic appendicitis is the most toxic. This is because the bacteria in the appendix grows and multiplies a lot over time. As a result, it may rupture suddenly by the time it matures, leading to life-threatening consequences.

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Appendicitis Symptoms

Appendicitis Symptoms

How will you know whether you are suffering from appendicitis or not? Thankfully, there are some easy-to-spot signs of appendicitis that anyone can understand (and will feel the pain). These symptoms tend to be:

1. Abdominal Pain

Abdominal Pain

The most common symptom for identifying appendicitis is severe abdominal pain. This pain happens in the lower abdominal area, on the right side of your stomach. This pain is caused due to the accumulation of bacteria and the blockage of the appendix tract.

2. Digestive Problems

Digestive Problems

Due to the bacteria infestation, ingestion, diarrhea, and constipation are some of the most common symptoms associated with appendicitis. In addition, the person will often suffer from stomach cramps, gas, loose motion, and other issues.

3. Loss Of Appetite

Loss Of Appetite

Loss of appetite is a concerning symptom because it is generally associated with chronic appendicitis. The person will not feel hungry, even after spending hours without food and water.

4. Nausea

Nausea

Often, a person suffering from appendicitis will throw up a few minutes after having food. This is because of bacteria contamination in your digestive tracts, which the body wants to get rid of. Therefore, appendicitis makes you feel nauseated, lowering your appetite and even forcing you to puke after having a meal.

5. Swollen Belly

Swollen Belly

One of the more uncommon symptoms of appendicitis, there might be a swelling on the right side of your belly caused due to appendicitis. This is threatening since it signals that your appendix has swollen up a lot and can rupture within the next few days or hours, depending on its severity. Therefore, we recommend going to the hospital immediately if you have a swollen belly.

What Causes Appendicitis?

What Causes Appendicitis?

Appendicitis is still a mysterious disease since many doctors have not fully understood its causes. However, some of the verified causes of appendicitis are:

1. Abdominal Injury

Any abdominal injury can cause a blockage in your appendix, making it swell up. This has been an actual cause because many wrestlers, boxers, martial artists, and athletes have suffered from appendicitis after receiving some form of injury in the right side of their stomach.

2. Gastrointestinal Infection

You can develop gastric infections due to improper eating habits and a bad diet. Symptoms include pain in the stomach with severe diarrhea. In addition, such conditions can lead to poop blocking the large intestine and opening the appendix.

If you want to know what food can cause appendicitis, then remember that fast foods and junk food are their leading causes.

3. Intestinal Worms

Although rare, intestinal worms like tapeworm can cause appendicitis. This is because its movement inside your intestines can cause it to damage and block the appendix.

Appendicitis Treatment

Appendicitis Treatment

Currently, there are two methods of appendicitis treatment. They are:

1. Antibiotics

If the pain and the symptoms are not very severe (possibly a case of chronic appendicitis), doctors often recommend taking antibiotics orally. These generally include over-the-counter medicines that can help fight the bacteria concentrating in your appendix.

2. Appendectomy Surgery

If there is severe, unbearable pain in the stomach, doctors will recommend you to get surgery done to treat appendicitis immediately. This intense pain may mean that your appendix has become swollen and enlarged and can burst at any time.

This is fatal as the rupture of the appendix can lead to pus and bacteria filling the space around your stomach and intestines, infecting them in the process as well. This can cause sepsis, a disease where bacteria get infect your bloodstream. If not treated immediately, it can lead to blood poisoning and death.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1. How Long Can You Have Appendicitis Symptoms Before It Can Burst? 

Ans: Appendicitis symptoms last about two to four days before your appendix bursts.

Q2. What Does Appendicitis Pain Feel Like? 

Ans: Appendicitis feels like severe pain in the lower right abdominal area, including painful cramps. This pain is sudden and sharp.

Q3. How Do I Know If I Have Appendicitis Pain?

Ans: If the pain in your stomach appeared sharply and suddenly, it might be a symptom of appendicitis. However, if it pains every time you move your body, that is a point of concern.

Q4. Can Appendicitis Go Away?

Ans: Appendicitis can never go away. Once it happens, its symptoms can show up suddenly or appear from time to time before becoming severe.

Conclusion

We often hear our parents and elderly saying phrases like “we become what we eat.” Unfortunately, this is true because improper diet and unhygienic eating habits can cause appendicitis. This inflammation of the appendix can lead to severe pain in your stomach. If left untreated, it can rupture your appendix, leading to blood poisoning and death. 

If you want to know more about other diseases, we recommend you share this article with others and give our other articles a read as well!

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